Dr Mathew Varghese is now spearheading the clubfoot program in India as Hon. Medical Director of CURE International India. He has trained over 4000 medical professionals the details of the Ponseti Method of clubfoot management.
Even though polio was eliminated from India in 2011, thousands of people still struggle with the lasting impact of the disease. Dr. Mathew Varghese runs India’s last and only polio ward, where he and his team treat polio patients and help them to walk again.
Varghese says that he loves his work. “That ability to change something for someone gives so much joy. I don’t think anyone is as happy as I am,” he says. “The dignity of being able to stand on two legs, albeit with braces, that makes a huge difference.”
Holding back tears, the doctor explains, “Accessing even the free healthcare in our communities is so difficult. These are marginal existence societies. They are on the edge.”
“In the 80’s, every day 500 to 1,000 children across India [were] paralyzed,” he says. “People like me will still be required to take care of them, for a long time to come. But I can die peacefully [knowing] that in the future, maybe they’ll be no need for a polio ward.”